If you’ve been following my blog for a couple of months, you’d know that I’ve been fully vegetarian for about four months now. I decided to become a vegetarian for health reasons. Before, I had a terrible habit of eating red meat and I didn’t really care for grilled/baked options so I decided to just cut meat out altogether. I just wanted to feel healthier and lighter.
I’m pretty proud of myself for how far I’ve come with this journey. I never thought I would make it this long without consuming meat. Along the way, I’ve learned a couple of things about vegetarianism and the general way health is viewed in the United States.
First thing I’ve learned is that becoming a vegetarian for health reasons is pointless if you still continue to eat trash. Cutting out meat is not enough. Yes, I was not eating red meat but I was still eating things that were high in sugar, sodium, and fat. For example, instead of a pepperoni pizza, I would get a cheese pizza. What good does that do? Nothing. I still didn’t feel my best.
I went on this journey to better my health and my health was not going to improve if I still ate other harmful foods. Once I shifted my diet back in balance, I felt a lot better. I felt lighter. I felt cleansed. Cutting out meat was a great idea but it’s important to still fill your diet with nutrient-rich foods because if not, you cutting out meat is a waste of time.
Another thing I learned on this journey is the idea that cutting out meat, for me, is not affordable is actually false. Honestly, it helped me spend less on groceries because I wasn’t buying meats. I was mostly buying fruits, veggies, beans, and meat substitutes like veggie burgers. I will say, some meat substitutes can be expensive but brands like Morning Star and Gardein come through with affordable meat alternatives. They have everything from meatballs to Mandarin orange chicken. It tastes good too!
A thing I’ve realized is that we, the United States, consumes a lot of meat. When I use to eat meat, it never occurred to me how often meat is cooked into our meals–even in sides. One challenge I have is finding fast food options. Almost every fast food chain in the south serves strictly meat. There are very few vegetarian/vegan friendly options. Now being on the other side of things, I wish we had more inclusiveness when it comes to having meals for all kinds of diets.
This process has definitely been a learning experience. It has forced me to have more self-discipline and determination. This only the start. I’m looking forward to what else I will learn along this journey.